Victorio C. Edades

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To read the article in Filipino, please see Victorio C. Edades.

Victorio C. Edades (13 December 1895- 7 March 1985) is a Filipino painter and the leader of the the revolutionary Thirteen Moderns, a group of modernist artists. Known as the “Father of Modern Philippine Painting”, he is the National Artist for Visual Arts in 1976.

He married Jean Garrott, an American who taught English and drama at the University of the Philippines.

Contents

Early life and education

He was born on 13 December 1895 in Dagupan, Pangasinan. He was the youngest of the 10 children of Hilario and Cecilia Edades. 6 of his siblings died of chickenpox.

He received his early education in one of the schools present in their barrio. By 7th grade he was considered the "apprentice teacher" in art class due to his talent.

After high school, he and his friends traveled to the United States. He made a detour to Alaska and worked in salmon canneries. He later moved to Seattle and took up Architecture as well as Master of Fine Arts in Painting at the University of Washington.

Career

A traveling exhibit of the Armory show in 1922 opened his eyes [http://www.geringerart.com/bios/edades.html to the artistic ferment in Europe led by Cezanne, Gauguin, Matisse, Picasso', Duchamp, the surrealists, and the Dadaists]. It gave Edades the artistic direction he was looking for.

Edades deviated from the academic style but retained some of its characteristics. In 1928, he executed two paintings: "The Sketch," (also called "The Artist and His Model") and "The Builders."

Upon his return to the Philippines in 1928, he put up a crusade of changing the course of Philippine art which was then dominated by by painter Fernando Amorsolo and sculptor Guillermo E. Tolentino.

He had a one person show at the Philippine Columbian Club in December of that same year. The public, which was accustomed to Amorsolo's paintings, were shocked in disdain. To continue his campaign for advanced art, he decided to pursue teaching.

Edades was one of the few who helped organize the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Department of Architecture in 1930 where he served as its acting head. In 1935, he was appointed as the Director of the UST College of Architecture and Fine Arts. It was during his time that a liberal arts program, which offered art history and foreign languages subjects, was introduced. It later led to the creation of a Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts.

In 1934, he was commissioned by architect Juan Nakpil commissioned him to do a mural at the lobby of the Capitol Theater on Escolta Street in Manila. He chose Carlos Botong Francisco, who was then an illustrator for the Philippine Herald as his assistant. The latter brought in Galo B. Ocampo to the project. Together, they formed the first triumvirate in Philippine modern art.

A battle between the modernists and conservatives erupted in the 1930's. In an interview with A.B. Saulo for an article in the Monday Mail, Edades bewailed the conservative orientation of art as it focused more on the bright aspects of life and excluded the dark side of reality as a valid artistic subject. Edades was with other modernists Salvador P. Lopez and Jose Garcia Villa. The conservatives present were Ariston Estrada, Ignacio Manlapaz and Fermin Sanchez. The debate, which was interrupted by the World War II, resumed in 1948 but had Edades and Tolentino on opposite poles. They debated the pros and cons of modern art which was published on The Sunday Times Magazine and “This Week” of the Manila Chronicle.

Edades, who introduced modernism in the Philippines and gave its guidance and related it to the issue of national identity, envisioned an art which an artist must pursue with an individual vision while discovering his identity as a Filipino.

In 1937, Edades, Ocampo and Diosdado Lorenzo organized the Atelier of Modern Art. It led to the formation of the “Thirteen Moderns” and boosted the cause of modernism with new talents. Modernism was further strengthened with the founding of the Art Association of the Philippines (AAP) and the Philippine Art Gallery (PAG) in 1951. The modernists included Edades, Carlos Francisco, Galo Ocampo, Lorenzo, Vicente Manansala, HR Ocampo, Anita Magasaysay, Cesar Legaspi, Demetrio Diego, Ricarte Purugganan, Jose Pardo, Bonifacio Cristobal and Arsenio Capili.

In 1940, he organized the School of Design with Juan Nakpil. As they share belief towards modern architecture and art, some of Edades' works were featured in Nakpil's works like the “Kasaysayan” in Manila Bank.

He retired to Davao City where he lived with his family. He taught at the Philippine Women's College and continued making art.

Some of his works

  • 1928 – The Sketch, National Museum Collection
  • 1928 – The Builders, Cultural Center of the Philippines Collection
  • 1935 – Interaction, kasama si Carlos V. Francisco at Galo B. Ocampo
  • 1976 – Demoiselles D’avao
  • 1979 – Kasaysayan, a mural for a Manila bank

Awards and recognition

  • Pro Patria Award, 1961
  • Sining at Kalinangan Award, 1964
  • National Artist for Visual Arts, 1976


References


Citation

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